Aug 18, 2022
CDC director wants to modernize after COVID-19, monkeypox challenges Transcript
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director said Wednesday that the agency must “do better” after an external review found shortcomings in the COVID-19 response. Read the transcript here.
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John Fenoglio: (00:01)
Sure, Micah. Good evening to you. More than two years into the pandemic and some people still are confused by CDC’s COVID-19 guidance. As the virus changes, so does the science. But today, even the CDC director admits the agency has to do better.
John Fenoglio: (00:19)
Tonight, a blistering assessment of the CDC by its own director. A new report finding the federal health agency fumbled its coronavirus pandemic response and failed to adequately confront the outbreak. The CDC has been sharply criticized by some for its guidance on masking, vaccines, and isolation.
Speaker 2: (00:38)
There’s no consistency.
Tiffany Slagle: (00:40)
I was especially confused when the CDC changed their policy on how long you had to quarantine for, so people could get back to work.
John Fenoglio: (00:47)
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky ordering the internal review scrutinizing the agency’s response to the pandemic during both the Biden and Trump administrations. The review found the CDC’s COVID-19 recommendations were “confusing and overwhelming”. Director Walensky now promising major changes, including an internal staff shakeup, sharing information faster, and an overhaul of the center’s website with plain language that’s easy to understand.
Donna Feinstein: (01:15)
I am fielding more calls about COVID now in the last two months than I have in the last two and a half years.
John Fenoglio: (01:23)
Donna Feinstein works at an LA-based doctor’s office.
Donna Feinstein: (01:27)
The CDC is trying hard, but it’s a government agency and government agencies, bless their heart, don’t necessarily do so well with rapid-fire information. They’re coming out with blanket statements. The public wants answers and they give answers, but the story keeps changing. The COVID keeps changing. Everything looks different from week to week.
John Fenoglio: (01:48)
The announcement of the CDC overhaul comes as the agency faces fallout from a slow response to another public health crisis. You think the CDC’s prepared to deal with monkeypox.
Tiffany Slagle: (01:59)
We’ll see. We’ll see.
John Fenoglio: (02:00)
There are now more than 38,000 cases of monkeypox globally, with a 20% increase in just the last week, according to the World Health Organization. More than 13,000 cases have been identified in the US, more than any other country. The disease is not believed to be fatal, but does cause painful lesions and requires weeks of isolation. So far, vaccines have been extremely limited and hard to find.
John Gardner: (02:26)
I had a friend send me pictures of the line to get monkeypox, and it stretched around a baseball field I think he said five times, which it’s really not making it easy to …
Speaker 6: (02:39)
John Gardner: (02:39)
John Fenoglio: (02:43)
More than a thousand monkeypox cases have been confirmed in LA County, Long Beach, and Pasadena. Last week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization to split the vaccine dose to essentially cover about as five times as many people. Now while that may help, experts say supply still won’t meet demand unless the Biden administration takes more aggressive steps to increase vaccine supply. We’re live in West Hollywood. John Fenoglio, KTLA-5 News.